Here in the U.S.–as opposed to the UK and Ireland where scones are a little more demure– we happily load scone dough with big chocolate chunks, any sort of fruit on hand, coconut, nuts, citrus, and often a little more sugar just because. Icing or at least a drizzle–vanilla, lemon, orange, maple, dark chocolate with salt– is not out of the question on top! And we STILL could gild that lily with a little more butter. What?? We seem to always go big or go home on this side of the Atlantic. I’ve made them every which way over time, though not yet with icing, (scroll down to IF YOU LIKED THIS… to see other More Time scones ), and being an American of Scots descent, I like to consider my options. With a big box of ripe Italian plums resting in my fridge, I opted to 1. freeze most of them for later–hello, Thanksgiving desserts and 2. make some decadent, American-style scones. Had I heard of or made plum scones before? No, but that wouldn’t stop me, would it? I just might be more American than Scots.Jump to Recipe Continue reading
When I told one of my besties, Sue Hall, about this recipe and sent her a first photo, she said, “And so where in the h-e-double hockey sticks are you getting wild goose?” I said, “I have someone shoot them for me.” “Of course you do,” said she.Continue reading
What makes you feel rich? Ok, well, money would work for us all; I know. But for each of us there’s a little something or a big something (maybe more than one) that creates enough comfort in our heart to make us sigh and feel as though we need nothing more at all. Could be that once in a blue moon moment when all the wash is done and folded or perhaps after the fall garden cleanup is completed and the tulip bulbs are planted. A night after a long work project ends successfully. Close friends coming to stay for a few days. The day your afghan (or toychest) is finished, washed, and mailed. A night alone with your favorite movie of all time. (Mine is: “It Happened One Night.” That or “Michael.”) A lunchtime when the whole family is together. Might also be a full freezer. Walking a 5K; you’ll note that doesn’t say run. A case of canned tomatoes stored away for winter spaghetti sauce. For me, it’s also when there’s a slow cooker full of lusciousness bubbling all day long, promising an all-you-can-eat dinner and giving me a free day. (Hello, sleazy novel!) I feel even richer if I’ve time to bake a little something to go alongside that happy pot of goodness. A bread, simple or not, made especially to go with one particular meal. That’s really rich. This week’s jalapeño-studded peach cornmeal muffins are just such a bread. Even more so as they’re not your typical muffin. With their sweet-savory profile, they’re kind of on the special side despite their easy preparation and basically simple nature. If you’re on your toes, they’re made and baked and on the table in under 45 minutes, including preheating the oven — a must for big, round-domed muffins.Continue reading
When you’ve just come home from a month-long vacation and the much-loved older sister of your childhood best friend is traveling through town with her husband and two dogs, you have them for dinner. Of course, you do. The house may be a little musty-dusty; the yard is definitely overgrown. Since the fridge is sadly empty, it’s time run to the store, throw a couple of whole chickens on the grill, roast new potatoes with Herbes de Provence, make your best green beans with lemon, toss an apple pie into the oven, dust off a favorite Oregon Pinot Noir, and hope for the best. You choose a meal you can (nearly) make with your eyes closed and, God is good — as God is — it’s all fine. It’s all fine. It’s just so good to see old friends.Jump to Recipe Continue reading
Going on vacation next week....details at the end of the post. See you in September!
When I was a younger woman, I had no time for breakfast. Of course I choked down all the coffee I could manage and then, on high throttle, ran to catch the bus for work or jumped in the car to run kids to school. By lunch I was Starved with a capital “S” and surely ate more than I needed. I particularly remember drinking chocolate milk with my noon meal every day for one year of my short teaching career. (I also had to buy new and larger pants that year. It only takes one constant change, you see.) It wasn’t that I hadn’t been raised to eat a good morning meal; I had. Thanks, Dad. Somehow that daily oatmeal had gotten lost in the shuffle along the way, perhaps at college, much to my detriment. One fateful fall, however, weight having finally gotten the best of me, I joined Weight Watchers (WW). The doctor also called me on my caffeine habit; sigh. (I drink half-caff now so I can still have a humongous mugful.) If you know anything about WW and particularly old school WW –before points–you’ll know you must eat breakfast. You’ll fall flat on your face if you don’t. While I’m still a faithful member of the WW tribe (I’d be even larger if I weren’t), I also have become even more attached to the idea of a filling, substantial breakfast so I don’t lean into snacking or want two lunches. Plus I simply love breakfast!
Aside: Why have I done WW for so long? It keeps me honest. Can’t forget that ice cream bar if you’re tracking everything you eat.Continue reading
When the temperature soars to 90 F and above, I’m looking with a vengeance for any way to avoid turning the stove on. Sometimes even grilling or eating outdoors sounds too warm. Shades are pulled; lights are dimmed or off and yes, the AC is on, on, on during the day. I know; it’s not perfect. BUT! It is the perfect time to be able to reach into the refrigerator and just pull out dinner right along with a can of lemony sparkling water to top off a little cold Chardonnay. If it’s all in one bowl and ready to slip onto our plates, I’m even happier. Sometimes that’s a salmon pasta salad or, if we’re really lucky, it’s a quiche defrosting from the freezer or our chilled no-cook Spicy Cucumber-Feta Soup. This week it’s a silky-crunchy and perky bean and chickpea salad I’ve named PESTO BEAN SALAD. This is nothing in the world like your great aunt’s potluck 3-Bean Salad, no matter how much you loved or hated it. (I’ve never made 3-Bean Salad myself but who knows what lies ahead?) Homemade or jarred pesto is the simple summer sauce and there are enough vegetables to satisfy every mother on the planet. Fresh mozzarella lends a chewy, decadent, fatty note and since I added cherry tomatoes, there’s more than a nod toward my adored caprese. Today, a friend asked about leftovers; would this hold a few days in the fridge? “It’s lovely,” I told her. I haven’t even needed to add more dressing or seasonings. A big stir has been all it’s wanted. Can’t ask for much more in July.Continue reading
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It all started out gloriously. A beautiful Fourth of July brunch on the deck. Husband cooking one of my egg “recipe” favorites. Big ol’ hot sun in the true blue sky. Coffee in the tall mug, thanks. Unleaded Bloody Mary in the frosty pint glass. Dog next to us and a whole New York Times to read with all the time in the world to do it. Dinner, and making what would come to be known here as “Grilled Broccoli Potato Salad,” was light years away.Continue reading
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My friend Pam is a multi-talented woman. She enjoys a stunning alto solo voice; cooks like a fiend; entertains largely and comfortably; cultivates a wry wit; is an avid reader; makes a devoted wife, mom, church member, and friend; plays a mean piano, and –the thing I might most envy– is the epitome of organization. What most people don’t know about Miss Pam is she’s also a fine gardener who loves and generously shares the bounty of her craft. While summers here in the front range are late and short with cool nights, she still manages to get a crop or two in each year despite two black Labrador retrievers romping all over her big backyard. Best sous and husband Dave and I are often the recipients of her largesse when the weather warms and the other day Pam’s husband Lee drove over for a visit toting some of her rhubarb along as a gift to us. As rhubarb keeps pretty darned well in the fridge, I didn’t worry about using it quickly. Needing a snack on the not-too-sweet side yesterday, though, I soon heard that rhubarb calling my name, whispering, “bake, bake, bake…” and pulled it out to see just exactly how much she’d sent. To be on the safe side, I chopped it up and measured it to find I easily had a cup plus. Not enough for a pie or a cobbler, there was plenty for a simple cake or quick bread if I included another fruit in the mix. With a side-eyed sniff at the counter, it was apparent the partner needed to be bananas. Then again, I’d never heard of rhubarb and bananas. You? Turns out: It’s a match made in heaven.Continue reading
There’s nothing like a BLT in the summer and I thought I’d just about exhausted the possibilities for variations on that particular theme until one day I had some leftover bacon and was nursing a sudden yen for egg salad at the same time. Next thing I knew, there were egg salad BLTs on the table and much happy wonder to be had right alongside them. I mean, it is bacon and eggs, after all! I think they’re now on the permanent lunch or lazy dinner rotation and not only for summer.Continue reading
I don’t stop making soup once the weather warms up; I still need my bowls of goodness once every week or two for dinner (on the deck now with a chilly-willy white wine, growing greens, and candles) and for effortless, healthful lunches. I love best sous and hub Dave to roast a whole chicken on the grill and make a stunning salad as much as the next woman and I’m forever your person for homemade soft serve coffee ice cream or pistachio gelato, too. But woman can’t live on grilled meat and ice cream and that’s where it’s handy to have a vegetable-heavy whole meal chicken or other soup in your back pocket. And I like to invent things — Steven Raichlen –my favorite grill guy after Dave– would surely disagree with me, but grilling gets a little same old, same old. Soup is ever-changing. It might be unfair, but it’s how it is for me.Continue reading